Camelot Group, a British firm which has been operating National Lottery games in the UK since 1994, could soon be running the Pennsylvania Lottery in the USA after receiving a Notice of Award from state Governor Thomas W. Corbett. Camelot was the only company to put in a bid to become America’s third private lottery operator (state lotteries in Illinois and Indiana are already privately managed) and although being given the Notice of Award isn’t a guarantee that it will end up running the show, it is a very encouraging step in that direction. Unfortunately for Camelot, not all officials in the USA are happy with recent developments.
Democrats in particular have said that issuing the Notice of Award to Camelot prior to a public hearing that had been scheduled for 10am today showed ‘a disturbing lack of transparency’. Whether this kind of attitude reflects a broader public opinion about a private company running a state lottery or is simply a case of the Democrats seizing an opportunity to have a go at the Republican Governor is hard to tell. All we can say for sure is that there will be plenty of heated debate in Pennsylvania for some time to come, regardless of whether or not the Camelot deal goes ahead.
The Pennsylvania Lottery sold its first tickets in 1972, and a substantial percentage of money raised from ticket sales is used to fund programs for senior citizens in the state. Over $20 billion has been raised to that end since the games began, but officials have been considering handing over the management of the lottery to a private company for some time.
Camelot has proven itself as one of the most successful private lottery companies in the world, and as well as running the UK National Lottery it played a key role – along with French and Spanish companies Française des Jeux and Loterías y Apuestas del Estado – in launching the EuroMillions game in 2004. If any private company had a great chance of being handed the reins of the Pennsylvania Lottery, it was Camelot.
Of course, the Camelot Group didn’t just wait for its reputation to precede it, but instead entered an aggressive bid that pledged to make the Pennsylvania Lottery around $34 billion in profits over a 20 year period. There are few other companies anywhere in the world that could realistically offer that kind of result, so opponents of Camelot taking over the state lottery games in Pennsylvania would find it very difficult to suggest an equally attractive alternative. For that reason, we expect Camelot to succeed in its bid, but anything can happen in the world of politics and public opinion so watch this space and we’ll keep you posted.
To view a full list of Pennsylvania Lottery results please visit alottery.com.
Written by Lucy Lotto
World Lottery News Index
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